BISMARCK — Savanna's Act, which seeks to combat violence against the most vulnerable members of the Native American community, was signed into law by President Donald Trump on Saturday, Oct. 10.

Savanna's Act is named in memory of Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind, a North Dakota resident who was murdered in 2017. Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., helped introduce the bill in January 2019.

Specifically, the bill:

  • Improves tribal access to certain federal crime information databases and mandates the Attorney General and Interior Secretary consult with tribes on how to further develop these databases and access to them.
  • Requires the Justice, Interior, and Health and Human Services departments to solicit recommendations from tribes on enhancing the safety of Native American women and improving access to crime information databases and criminal justice information systems during the annual consultations mandated under the Violence Against Women Act.
  • Requires the creation of standardized guidelines for responding to cases of missing and murdered Native Americans, in consultations with tribes, which will include guidance on inter-jurisdictional cooperation among tribes and federal, state, and local law enforcement.
  • Requires statistics on missing and murdered Native American women, and recommendations on how to improve data collection, to be included in an annual report to congress.
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